New Courses and Special Topics Courses

This page contains descriptions for new and special topics offered in the Department of Political Science. Special topics courses are developed to complement existing courses, and cover emerging issues or specialized content not represented in our main curriculum. Please see the UTSC Timetable for the course days and times.

New Courses for the 2024-2025 Academic Year

POLB40H3 - Quantitative Reasoning for Political Science and Public Policy

This course introduces students to tools and foundational strategies for developing evidence-based understandings of politics and public policy. The course covers cognitive and other biases that distort interpretation. It then progresses to methodological approaches to evidence gathering and evaluation, including sampling techniques, statistical uncertainty, and deductive and inductive methods. The course concludes by introducing tools used in advanced political science and public policy courses.
Areas of Focus: Public Policy, and Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis

Prerequisite: Any 4.0 credits
Exclusion: POL222H1, SOCB35H3
Breadth Requirements: Quantitative Reasoning

POLC30H3 - Law, Politics and Technology

Today's legal and political problems require innovative solutions and heavily rely on the extensive use of technology. This course will examine the interaction between law, politics, and technology. It will explore how technological advancements shape and are shaped by legal and political systems. Students will examine the impact of technology on the legal and political landscape, and will closely look at topics such as cybersecurity, privacy, intellectual property, social media, artificial intelligence and the relationship of emerging technologies with democracy, human rights, ethics, employment, health and environment. The course will explore the challenges and opportunities that technology poses to politics and democratic governance. The topics and readings take a wider global perspective – they are not confined only on a Canadian context but look at various countries’ experiences with technology.
Area of Focus: Public Law

Prerequisite: POLB30H3 and POLB56H3
Corequisite: N/A
Exclusion: N/A
Recommended Preparation: POLC32H3, POLC36H3
Breadth Requirements: Social and Behavioural Sciences

POLD82H3 - Politics and Literature

Examines political dynamics and challenges through exploration of fiction and other creative works with political science literature. Topics and focus will vary depending on the instructor but could include subjects like climate change, war, migration, gender, multiculturalism, colonialism, etc.

Prerequisite: 1.5 credits at the C-level in POL courses
Corequisite: n/a
Exclusion: n/a
Recommended Preparation: n/a
Breadth Requirements: Social and Behavioural Sciences

Special Topics Courses

Fall 2024

POLC42H3- Topics in Comparative Politics

Instructor: TBD.
Topic: TBD.


Winter 2025

POLC40H3- Current Topics in Politics

Instructor: Assistant Professor Julian Campisi
Topic: Canadian Defence & Security Policies in Comparative Perspective

This course investigates the politics and policies that underpin our national defence, intelligence and security communities. Unlike the US and some other countries, in Canada, defence, security and the military culture do not take up as much political oxygen, nor are they as intertwined with national sentiment/pride. Canada’s security influence abroad is also lacking compared to allies and adversaries. Yet the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has placed a larger spotlight on Canadian (and Western) security concerns. This course thus places emphasis on defence and security policies in Canada in order to give students a clear and nuanced understanding of the Canadian intelligence, security, and defence communities, with a specific focus on different government agencies, their institutional make-up, and policies. We will study these through a policy lens, and in comparative perspective vis-à-vis other allied nations and organizations such as NORAD & NATO.

POLC42H3- Topics in Comparative Politics

Instructor: TBD.
Topic: TBD.